April McCoy and friendsApril McCoy and friends

Friends for Animals Sanctuary, Inc. (FFAS) rescues animals scheduled for
euthanasia, as well as rehabilitates animals and provides education and
adoption of pets to forever homes.  April McCoy was kind enough to
answer a few questions about how she became involved, the organization's
goals, and some of the victories of FFAS's endeavors. 

PetsLady: Please tell me a little about yourself and how you got involved with FFAS.
April McCoy: I have always been an animal lover and so when I came across the FFAS Thrift Shoppe with animals on the sign I brought in a bunch of items to donate.  I just happened to ask about what the organization does while I was in the Shoppe and said I would be interested in helping.  Within a week I had spoken with the Founder, President and now my dear friend, Katherine Johnson, and joined the Fundraising Committee.  I have a professional background in events and fundraising so I am currently serving as a volunteer Development Director for FFAS.

PetsLady: What is the goal of FFAS?  It seems to work a bit outside of what people would normally consider animal rescue--by rescuing animals already in a shelter....
April McCoy: Friends for Animals Sanctuary, Inc. will rescue animals from the shelter who are deemed unwanted or scheduled to be euthanized to reduce the euthanasia rate.  We will rehabilitate and find forever homes for them and along with educating the public about good pet care.
We are adamant about increasing public awareness of domestic animal overpopulation issues and in providing realistic solutions that will help end the killing of helpless adoptable animals. We will also be providing solutions to help people keep their animals in their homes, we will help with training, medical, behavior issues etc.  This not only applies to Brevard County (Florida), but worldwide in our scope.  We do not take owner surrenders.
PetsLady: What types of animals do you rescue?  Are any considered "exotic?"
April McCoy: We will eventually rescue all domestic animals.  The first areas of the Sanctuary currently being designed are for dogs, cats, horses, donkeys, rabbits, ferrets, etc.  None of them are exotic.

PetsLady: What is your favorite success story involving an adoption?
April McCoy: One of my favorite success stories is of Harley.

Harley... in the beginningHarley... in the beginning

Harley, formerly Phoenix, is a mix breed that had a severe skin issue.  She was at one of our kill shelters in Brevard County and was not what anyone would consider pretty or desirable and would have surely been euthanized.  She was underweight and almost completely bald.  FFAS took in Harley and gave her medical attention and love.  Her amazing adopter/owner, Sue, says she is a big love bug.  Within four months of being rescued she looked like a completely different dog. Nobody ever recognizes her from the before and after pictures.  It just shows what love and care can do.  Giving animals that need some extra loving care a second chance at a happy life is what we are about.

Harley now.Harley now.

PetsLady: Does FFAS actively go to shelters to retrieve animals, or are they brought to you?
April McCoy: We have wonderful foster/adoption volunteers that go to the shelter to retrieve the animals based on the fosters we have available.

PetsLady: What is the cost of adopting a little buddy from FFAS?

April McCoy: Dogs are $85.00, Cats, $65.00 and kittens are $75.00

PetsLady: Does FFAS have multiple locations?

April McCoy: We own 17.6 acres in Cocoa, FL that the Sanctuary is currently being built on.  In the meantime we have amazing fosters that have helped save the lives of over 200 cats and dogs.

PetsLady: How is FFAS funded?

April McCoy: FFAS is a not-for-profit 501c3 organization.  We are funded by donations, both corporate and individual, grants, events and our high-end Thrift Shoppe (located at 5000 N. Wickham Road, Suite 110 Melbourne, FL 32940).  A calendar of our events is located on our website www.friendsforanimalsfl.org and updated on our Facebook page.

I want to thank April for her time and kindness!  And if you're looking for a little furry buddy, you could do much worse than to check out the Friends for Animals Sanctuary!